A Christmas dinner in Keswick

One of the benefits of living in the UK is that I’m not the only Automattician in the country. Why is this good? Because it means I get to go to a work Christmas dinner and that’s exactly what I did last night. The dinner was in Keswick in the Lakes District, at a fabulous vegetarian restaurant. And no, I didn’t bully everyone into choosing a vegetarian restaurant, I had nothing to do with the choice of restaurant at all, honest. Obviously the people I work with realise you can have a good time and delicious food without having to eat meat. And a good time was indeed had by all.

My only complaint is that I wish I could have stayed longer. I booked an early train back to Aberdeen this morning so that I could get a lift back to the train station in Penrith and so I only got a brief glimpse of the main lake there, Derwentwater. But what I did see was very lovely and I’m sure I’ll go back.

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I stayed in a really gorgeous B&B last night too. I think crime must be almost non-existent in Keswick because when I arrived there was no-one at the B&B and the front door was unlocked. Just inside were some envelopes with names of guests and instructions on where to find your room key and the number of your room. I got my key and went to my room – all the rooms were unlocked too – and I made myself at home. There was some sherry there and because I decided this was going to be my once every 3 months to have a beer night I drank all the sherry. Then I used one of the towels to freshen up a bit and a drank some water from one of the glasses. Feeling very happy by this stage and wanting to explore I left my room but couldn’t lock the door. My key didn’t work. It was then that I noticed the number on my key didn’t match the number on my door. I had gone into someone else’s room!!! Shit! I quickly found my room and did a crazy back-and-forth between the two of replacing the sherry I had drunk with the full glass in my room and swapping the hand towel I had used and then the clean glass as well. Then I removed all my stuff and made sure the room looked just as I had found it. Thank goodness I didn’t decide to jump in the jacuzzi before stepping out.

It was so great to meet some of the people I work with. One thing that can be difficult in our company is knowing who does what. If I want to report a bug one of the biggest hurdles is knowing who to report it to. Meeting people face-to-face and asking them, “What are you working on?” was tremendously useful. Much more so that I imagined.

The UKMatticians group is a very diverse bunch and we are from lots of different countries, not just Britain. I can’t speak highly enough of all the people I work with and the good food and company continued way past my bedtime and into the wee hours of the morning. I’m writing this now on the train back to Aberdeen which I’ve discovered has free wifi. The sun is annoying me by shining into my eyes but I’m enjoying watching the splendid Scottish countryside roll past and am looking forward to returning to my home, Aberdeen.